Coffee and Camp Program at Tiny Elephant

BY  |  Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

coffee campParents are invited to prepare for Summer 2015 at a free program on “How to Choose the Right Sleepaway Camp” being held at Tiny Elephant Café at 54 Fairfield Street, Montclair on Wednesday, October 29 at 10am. Complimentary coffee and delicious treats will be served. Continue Reading

100 Candles – A Celebration of the 100th Birthday of the Bellevue Avenue Library

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 11:15am  |  COMMENTS (1)

happy bellevue

The Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library with the support of the Montclair Public Library and the Montclair Public Library Foundation welcomed the community to 100 Candles – a celebration of the 100th Birthday of the Bellevue Avenue Library this past Saturday Oct. 18.

More than 200 children and their families joined in the celebration. Sivan Vigder of Music for Aardvarks had the kids singing along and playing musical instruments as he entertained them with their favorite Aardvark songs. The talented Justin Canha drew throughout the event, providing the children with original works of art featuring their favorite cartoon characters. Puppet Time presented two hilarious puppet shows about 100-year-old puppets and birthday parties. Librarian Justin Kontonicolaou and the Teen Advisory Board helped the children create their own 3D pop up birthday cards, decorate their own birthday cookies, and add personal greetings to the Centennial Banner. Face painter Jonathan McDevitt made many faces even happier. Continue Reading

Montclair’s Bradford Parents Tuning Up for Bradfest Fundraiser at Tierney’s

BY  |  Friday, Oct 24, 2014 10:45am  |  COMMENTS (0)

bradfestBradfest is coming! Bradford School’s rocking parents night out is set for Saturday, October 25th at Tierney’s Tavern. The show features Bradford mom- and dad-bands rocking out to raise money to benefit the Bradford PTA.

This time around, four performers/bands are donating their time and musical talents to help raise funds for their children’s school.

Bradford mom singer/guitarist Stacia Thiel will kick off the show with an acoustic set of alt-country meets indie-folk originals and covers.

Next up will be MMY-FM, featuring Bradford parents Ross Yustein on guitar and Connie and Greg Mattison on vocals and keyboards/vocals. Joining the Bradford trio are Watchung dad Howard Freund on bass, and Paul McKeon, who used to live in Montclair, on drums. MMY-FM plays a mix of great rock ‘n’ roll classics, guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing.

The third band on the bill, Sock Monster, finds cool songs from bands like the Kinks, Clash, and Squeeze and mixes them up with alternative and power pop gems like The Records’ “Starry Eyes” and the Plimsouls’ “Million Miles Away.”

“We play the stuff we love, the music that would be on the radio if we were programming a great station,” says guitarist John Paul Uva, dad to two Bradford fifth graders. Montclair resident Jim Kvoriak, on vocals and guitar, and two other dads, Andy Yeates from Verona on drums, and Bob Terhune on vocals and bass, round out the band.

Filling out the bill are The Plimptones, with Bradford dad Mike Potenza on guitar, along with several lawyer friends from the firm Debevoise and Plimpton, who got together to play the Law Rocks Battle of the Bands at the Gramercy Theater in New York in December. Continue Reading

Brothers at MKA to Lead JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jaime and Andy Norris

Jaime and Andy Norris

Eight or more times every day, brothers Jaime and Andy Norris each must prick one of their fingers, draw and test their blood, and then adjust their blood sugar with insulin injections.

It’s a continual process that keeps the brothers and MKA students alive while scientists search for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, which strikes 15,000 American children and 15,000 American adults every year.

To help the fight for a cure, the Norris family will serve as Community Chairs of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at Liberty State Park on October 25th. The family, now in Glen Ridge, lived in Montclair until 2011. They are long-term members of members of St. Cassian Church. The boys are students at Montclair Kimberly Academy. Continue Reading

Halloween ComicFest: Free Comics, Fun and A Focus on Reading

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Looking for some Halloween fun with the kids that also encourages reading? Halloween ComicFest will be held on Saturday, October 25, and participating comic shops around the world will give away free comics and host events for their customers to enjoy while they browse the various titles and treasures each store offers.

halloween comic

According to Diamond Comic Distributors, “There are 19 titles available to choose from that are great for kids and adults, with twelve full-sized comics and seven mini-comics making it easy for everyone to find a story they will enjoy. Titles for this year include: DC’s Scooby Doo Team-Up with Batman #1, Marvel’s Secret Wars #1, Afterlife with Archie #1, My Little Pony, Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds, and other haunting and fun tales.”

Halloween ComicFest will also make available for purchase packs of 20 mini-comics which can be handed out to trick-or-treaters or stuffed inside goodie bags as a healthy alternative to sugary snacks. These mini-comics provide “an opportunity to pass on the fun of discovering and reading comics to the next generation of readers,” says Halloween ComicFest spokesperson Deborah Moreland.

You can find the store closest to you by visiting the Halloween ComicFest website.

Local comic shop, East Side Mags located at 7 South Fullerton Avenue in Montclair will be participating in this year’s event. Customers will receive one free comic of their choice and those who spend $10 or more will receive a 5-pack of comics. Comic book writer and artist Brian Smith (SpongeBob SquarePants, Stuff of Legend, Intrepid EscapgeGoat, Voltron, Max Steel) will be in the store signing copies of his work and doing sketches from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

East Side Mags owner Jeff Beck hopes events like Halloween ComicFest and Free Comic Book Day (held annually in May) will get kids excited about reading. “Halloween ComicFest is a way to get the community together for more than just trick or treats. It’s a way to share some amazing art and stories.” Jeff’s store is amazingly kid friendly with a welcoming vibe for the whole family.

And what is Halloween without costumes? “The Greatest Halloween Costume Contest Ever” presented by Halloween ComicFest is open until November 9, 2014, with prizes including shopping sprees to the winner’s choice of comic shop. Entrants must visit the website and upload a picture of themselves in costume holding one of the free Halloween ComicFest 2014 comics and submitting it to the appropriate category. Categories include Superhero/Comics, TV/Movie, Gamer, Horror and Original.

East Side Mags is hosting a contest of its very own. On Halloween Day, entrants are invited to stop by the store dressed in costume. Entrants will have their pictures taken and judging will take place at the end of the night for a winner in each of five categories: Best Superhero Costume (or comic book related), Best Horror Costume, Best Sci-Fi Costume, Most Original and Best Couple/Group Costume. The winner in each category will receive a $10 East Side Mags gift certificate and a Halloween ComicFest t-shirt. The store will also have free comics and non-candy treats for trick-or-treaters.

In a season many of us associate with candy, it’s nice to have a way to celebrate that encourages children to open their imaginations and spend some time with words.

Concerns with Institutional Bias Dominate Second Montclair AGAP Meeting

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 6:38am  |  COMMENTS (3)

The first public sharing session of the Montclair Achievement Gap Advisory Panel (AGAP) did not shy away from talking about race, but it heard relatively little discussion of racism.

This was not the case on Wednesday, Oct. 22, when the panel’s second sharing session saw a number of community members name both institutional and individual racism as an underlying cause of educational inequality in the Montclair school district.

Panel chair Jonathan Simon addresses parents at second community forum held by AGAP.

Panel chair Jonathan Simon addresses parents at second community forum held by AGAP.

While some of the parents who claimed that their children have experienced discrimination in Montclair schools have been consistently telling their stories at municipal and Board of Education meetings for months, others said that the meeting held at the Glenfield Middle School was the first time they were speaking publically about the issue.

A father of three, who did not give his name, said that he had never come forward before, but chose to give voice to his concerns out of fear that the panel would neglect the root cause of the achievement gap.

“What I see as truly the issue here, when we talk about the achievement gap, is institutional racism,” he said. “Racism, tracking, white privilege, those are what underlie any achievement gap.”

Other parents provided specific accounts of what they alleged amounts to discrimination at the institutional level. For instance, Esther Canty-Barnes, director of the Education and Health Law Clinic at Rutgers School of Law, spoke about her sons’ experiences in Montclair schools and said that, while it may not be deliberate, she believes that some white teachers behave differently towards black students. Continue Reading

Get Your Pumpkin On: MAM Pumpkin Carving, Moonlight Trail, Gardens Aglow, Haunted Illusions

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Kids are lucky this year. This weekend — the weekend before Halloween — is packed with family-friendly events. Then next Friday, it’s more tricks and treats on Halloween.

Pumpkin CarvingMAM Pumpkin Carving 

What: Montclair Art Museum is hosting a spooktacular evening of fun with a a pumpkin carving and decorating night. All pumpkins, art supplies and carving tools will be provided. Kids are invited to dress in their Halloween costumes; refreshments available.

Where: Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair

When: Friday, October 24, 6-8pm

Cost: Tickets are $25 for nonmember families and $20 for member families. Purchase here. Continue Reading

Glen Ridge High School Marching Band and Color Guard Earns Silver at Wayne Hills

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

_RAV4377Glen Ridge High School Marching Band and Color Guard received a silver rating with a total score of 83.15 at the Wayne Hills Marching Band Festival on Saturday, October 18.

The group received recognition for the body moves throughout the show with one judge remarking, “Whoever writes your drill gives the kids a great challenge and the kids are really understanding and performing well.” The pit percussion section and the soloists earned kudos for showing their musicality. And the judges were impressed on how well the group maximizes the use of a small color guard. Continue Reading

Montclair’s Achievement Gap Advisory Panel: Charged With Tackling Issues of Racial Inequality

BY  |  Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 2:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Achievement Gap Advisory Panel (AGAP), comprised of a diverse group of community members, has been meeting for months to tackle this longtime problem in Montclair. Earlier this month, the group invited the public to the first of two community sharing forums. A second meeting, focused on families with students from 6th to 12th grades, will take place this Wednesday, October 22, at Glenfield Middle School.

The panel asks the community to attend these forums and share their thoughts on what Montclair Public Schools and the community can do to help all children maximize their potential.

Panel chair Jonathan Simon (who took over in June after previous panel chairs, Tom Reynolds and Ronald Brown, stepped down earlier this year) moved to Montclair from Atlanta because of the diverse community and the highly rated school system.

“Bringing people together that are diverse isn’t enough,” says Simon of the obstacles the panel faces. “Every child has a different narrative.”

AGAP

The challenge is navigating and analyzing all the systems and practices that may result in disparity, including suspension rate (the district suspends more black students than white ones) or AP classes (black students count for only 11 percent of students participating in Advanced Placement classes).

“Are these kids feeling the bar is not held high enough for them? Are they talking themselves out of it [achievement]? That’s what we have to look at and address,” says Simon. Continue Reading

Montclair Pop Warner Season Finishes with Teams at Top of North Jersey League

BY  |  Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Recreation/Pop Warner Bulldogs completed one of their most successful seasons, with 4 of the Bulldogs’ 6 teams, finishing in first place in their respected divisions. The locals went 3-3 in action against the Jackie Robinson Bears (Newark) this past Sunday in the final week of the 2014 regular season.

The Blue & White Flag football teams (ages 5-7) split games with Jackie Robinson, with the Bulldogs White team (4-3) losing a tough 14-0 defeat to the Bears. The team has showed progress each week and looks to be a force next season in NJPW. Standouts for the team were Aaron Smith and Zion Gordon.

Montclair Bulldogs Wide Receiver Elijah Coates.

Montclair Bulldogs Wide Receiver Elijah Coates.

The Bulldogs Blue team (6-0-1) remained hot, defeating the Bears 28-0 behind a strong ground game, with three touchdown runs from QB Kendall Jones and another on a pass reception from Wide Receiver Malachi Goodman. Standouts for the Blue team were Joe Feli and Reed Oliver.

Both teams will close out 2014 this Saturday, October 25, at the North Jersey Pop Warner Flag-a-thon, an all-day event that celebrates the season for all North Jersey flag teams with medals for the players and inflatable rides for the kids. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

De Camp and the councilman missed the bus on this one.

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